new leaves with blackened tips falling off Begonia

ladycave(6b)April 18, 2014

I'm a newbie to plant care, indoors and out and would love some advice for my faltering spotted angel wing Begonias that I brought indoors at the end of last summer. I have been keeping them alive in Brooklyn, NY, in an enclosed room with CFL light bulbs, humidifier and temp. around 60-72 degrees. I have been using a moisture sensor to make sure not to over water. They have been doing ok until recently the new leaves are turning black and falling off before they barely unfurl? Some mature leaves have holes and long slice-like scars and dead dry brown tips?

I've been scouring Google "image search" for a picture that matches my plants' symptoms but can't quite find the same decaying look. The new leaves, that mature beyond the unfurling stage, eventually develop a soggy translucent spot on its edge that can expand to consume almost a 1/4 of the entire leaf until it drops off. I have uploaded some images of my beloved but sad Begonias in hopes someone can make suggestions on what I should do?

Any input to help me identify what's causing these symptoms will be so appreciated and contribute to my greening thumb's education? I figure I shouldn't start my seedlings for spring planting in this same grow room until I can confirm its not a fungus etc.?
Thank You for any insight-Spring Hopes Eternal!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

can we have a pic of the whole plant..

are they really that red.. or is that a bit of camera trick???

it might be time to turn off the humidifier.. now that the furnace isnt running 24/7 ...

its getting late for seed sowing... this wouldnt stop me from that ...

and i wouldnt jump to disease or fungus.. all too fast ... we have to figure out what is CAUSING the injury to the leaf.. before we decide the RESULT is a fungus or some such ... as you mention physical damage ...

so the lesson is to figure out cause.. before we try treating the result/effect ...

if its minimal... just snip off all the old leaves ...

BTW.. what kind of begonia.. bulb or roots????


    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Thank you for responding. Here is pic of the Cane type, roots, angel wing Begonia. You can see the little dead leaves on table to right, for scale. The leaf is red, but this iPhone pic is super saturated. not sure why.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:10PM
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oops, I meant the little leaves to the Left of the pot.
And here is a pic of the kind of holes that are prevalent in the more mature leaves.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:14PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Some angel wing begonias are deciduous.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:12PM
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If my begonia is deciduous and Its been maintained it in growing conditions indoors all winter perhaps it is dropping leaves because it's time to take a break before the next growing cycle? If this is the case should I cut it back to a few leaves and maintain it with some moisture, little light and no fertilizer?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:29AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i think its done the best it can.. in less that perfect circumstances indoors ... [you did great.. but its not a natural biosphere] ...

and it needs to get outside... soon ..

and i would not fert it.. until 2 weeks after transplant outdoors.. taking into full account.. all the spring weather variables ... and putting it inot mother earth.. or proper potting media ...

it needs a lot more light.. as the internodal growth looks extended ... it that is the right term ... even shade outdoors.. normal for this plant.. is much more intense.. than lights indoors ...

that little leaf loss is irrelevant.. IMHO .. the rest looks great .. ALL PLANTS.. shed older and damaged leaves ..

i think you are worrying over nothing.. and i fear that you will try to love it to death.. trying to fix.. that which is not broken ... try to avoid that


ps: fert can not.. and will not .. overcome a light issue ...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:46AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ladycave, angelwings make GREAT houseplants! I'd really love for you to visit the Houseplant Forum, here at GardenWeb, for some directions in how to get this plant back in good shape.

No "rest " time, please.

I'll look for you over there and help get you started in the right direction. Be prepared to repot and do a little snipping (top and roots) .

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 3:28PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

We seem to be falling into two camps. I think this plant IS begging for a rest. Begonias have a stout corm which is there to help them withstand drought of several months, which in their normal environment is what they get. If you do leave it dry you can then repot it into some fresh compost a couple of months ahead. In Brazil (home of Begonias) drought plays the role of frost in temperate climates. It also kills off a lot of pests and diseases and if your plant has one, you may also be able to zap it. Good luck. Ian

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 3:34PM
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More about my spotted angel leaf Begonia...the leaves have been falling off like this for about 3 months on and off. My Zone is 6b and the weather is so nuts, could snow again in NYC. I have coleus and ferns in this same "green room" that also get black tips and brown edges and fall off. Since I am new to all this I thought I'd focus on one specimen at a time.Thanks for all your expertise.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 7:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Since those are all pretty different plants, what do they have in common that might cause problems?

Are the conditions in the room hostile to plants? Is the potting medium a porous, fast draining mix? Are you watering properly? Had these plants been growing outside before being brought in for the winter?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ladycave, I received your email but was not able to send a reply. You need to click on the correct option to allow me tl do that. But, please post your questions in the Houseplant Forum and I'm sure I'll see you there.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:42PM
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